Results tagged Marais from David Lebovitz

Poilâne

pain Poilâne

I don’t think about this so much anymore, but one of the reasons I moved to Paris is that I could, whenever I wanted to, go to Poilâne and buy myself nice chunk of pain Poilâne. Just like that. Although I’m from San Francisco where there are quite a number of excellent bread bakeries, there’s something special about the bread at Poilâne – it has a certain flavor, just the right tang of sourdough, dark and husky but with an agreeable légèreté that makes it the perfect bread for sandwiches, to accompany cheese, or as I prefer it, as morning toast with little puddles of salted butter collecting in the irregular holes and a thin layer of bitter chestnut honey drizzled all over it.

Pain Poilâne

A week after I moved to Paris, a friend and I were invited to lunch with Monsieur Poilâne and his wife. Both were lovely people and Monsieur Poilâne was animated and still excited about the bakery he’d owned seemingly forever, which was (and still is) considered the best bread in the world. (I’ve never met a bread baker who didn’t use Monsieur Poilâne’s pain au levain as a reference point for excellence.) He took out a piece of paper and a pen, and wrote down a list of places that he wanted to take me, which I thought was odd – yet rather generous – since the man had just met me.

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Candelaria

tacos

Luis Rendón is my new favorite person in Paris. And the guy who makes the tortillas is my second favorite (I suppose if I got his name, he might be the first.) But it’s Luis behind the great Mexican fare at Candelaria, a narrow slip of a place in the upper Marais that serves authentic Mexican food.

adding masa hefting tortilla dough

Lately there’s a new openness, a willingness to try something new in Paris, and to take other cuisines seriously. When I moved here nearly a decade ago, the Japanese restaurants on the rue Saint Anne were nearly empty and never, ever in a million years (or even ten years, for that matter) would I have imagined that there would be several excellent Mexican restaurants to choose from in several neighborhood.

But here we are right now, and it’s encouraging to see them not filled with folks from elsewhere hoping for a taste of home, but young people happily slurping udon or soba, and yes, even picking up burritos and jamming them in their craw. (Although I still don’t have to worry much about having to share my hot sauce with other diners in the vicinity. Except for my friend Fréderic, who can easily outdo me in burrito and taco consumption. Good lord, can that man eat.)

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Nunu Chocolates from Brooklyn, in Paris

chocolates filled with salted butter caramel

A few years ago an American friend asked me about opening a pop-up store in Paris, featuring something he creates with chocolate in New York City. At the time, I advised against it. People outside of the United States do have some preconceived notions about how Americans eat (many still think we all eat at fast-food restaurants), but a recent wave of magazine articles about food in America, small restaurants in Paris with America-trained chefs and owners, and most importantly, people traveling to the United States and seeing the astounding produce at the greenmarkets, I’d like to think has caused a shift in thinking.

chocolate tools

So I was excited to see that Nunu Chocolates from Brooklyn had set up a space in the Brachfeld Gallery in the Marais here in Paris, for a temporary pop-up shop featuring their chocolates.

Continue Reading Nunu Chocolates from Brooklyn, in Paris…

Princess Crepe

Princess crepe

I wasn’t on planning on going to Princess Crêpe, which I’d passed a while back and was intrigued (for lack of a better word) by their unusual look. Well it was “different”, as my mother used to politely make me say when something was out-of-the-ordinary. If we were in Harajuku, it’d fit right in. But in Paris, this is decidedly different from the rest of the surrounding area, the Marais.

I’d gone by the place a few times in the morning and they have “different” hours, open from 1pm and closing up a few hours later at 7pm. So basically they open after lunch and close just before dinner.

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Flat Bagels

flat bagels blog

Tradition schmadition. Something I’ve noticed every time I come to New York is that the bagels keep getting puffier and puffier. (Which happened before everything started going 3D.) When I eat a bagel, I want a chewy exterior with lot of seeds on it and enough dough inside to support a swipe of cream cheese. I don’t want a whole loaf of bread in there. Is that too much to ask?

Roaming around the streets of New York, I’ve seen bagels practically as round as a baseball and others as fluffed up as a burger bun. And I know you’re not going to believe this, but I even saw bagels with dried fruit in them. Oy. What is this city coming to?

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Merce and the Muse, and Mary

brocolli salad straws

[UPDATE: Both of these places have closed.)

One of the curious things that’s happening right now in the Paris food scene is a spate of what I consider ‘anglo’-style cafés opening up in various smaller neighborhoods. There are a few that have been around for a while. But in the past year, casual restaurants that sell leafy salads, made with just-cooked fresh vegetables and greens, house made soups, hand-held desserts like individual carrot cakes and les muffins, fresh fruit juices, and coffee made with care and attention, have been giving the normal lunch of choice for harried Parisians, les sandwiches—including the good ones from the local bakeries, as well as those from the unfortunately popular Subway sandwich shops that are rapidly invading France—a run for their money.

sandwich merce muse

Places like Bob’s Juice Bar, Cococook, Bread and Roses, and Rose Bakery are all packed at lunchtime not with homesick Brits or Americans, but Parisians.

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Les Jars

jars

I hope for your sake that you’re nothing like me. If you are, you’ve probably saved every single glass jar that’s ever crossed your path. (Don’t even get me started on reusable plastic containers, which merit a whole separate post.) Once something lands in my apartment, it’s there for the duration. Someone once attempted to give me a smackdown for advising my favorite people in the world, my readers, to cover their cookie dough in plastic wrap.

But little did she know that I’ve been using the same sheets of plastic wrap, and plastic bags, since my arrival in Paris many years ago, which I rinse and dry methodically. Believe me, if a plastic bag or jar ever exits my threshold, it’s destined for only one place, and that’s the Smithsonian.

jar collection

I have two areas in my apartment specifically dedicated to the preservation of glass jars. One is for jars I use for jams and jellies, and the other is for jars I’ve used for pickles, kimchi, and other things that are stinky. And nary the two shall meet: we all, somehow, have learned to co-exist in my tiny garret.

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Cookware Shops in Paris

dehillerin copper

Paris is a mecca for cooks, and folks come here from around the world to stock up on French and specialty cookware. Many of the shops are clustered around the Les Halles area, where for many years restaurateurs shopped at the giant market there for produce and other comestibles, as well as professional kitchenware. Although the market is gone, many of those stores exist and you can make a day of shopping in the various stores.

tartrings a.simon

One caveat is to check prices before leaving home. Often items are priced less elsewhere because many goods in France have substantial VAT added (hovering at around 20%). Plus figure in shipping or baggage fees if you plan to haul it yourself as most airlines charge for additional suitcases. So that Le Creuset casserole might cost you more than you bargained for.

verrerie des halles

Service in the shops can range from gruff to helpful, depending on the staff. For years, the shops served mostly professionals. Although that’s changed over the last decade.
As other people starting picking up tart rings and baking sheets, shops are now more welcoming to everyday cooks. But still, much in the places around Les Halles are self-service and getting attentive help can be a challenge. Be sure to measure your oven before you leave since French baking sheets, and silicone baking mats and cookware, are made for European-sized kitchens and appliances.

la vaisellerie

Shops in Les Halles often display prices HT (hors taxes) and that 19.6% is added on the bill when they ring you up, unless you have European tax-exempt status. TTC (toutes taxes comprises) means all the taxes are included in the price. In other cookware and department stores, the price generally includes in the tax. When in doubt, ask.

Tourists can avoid the tax if you purchase €175 worth of goods in the same store on the same day. You need to present your receipt that the store will give you (called the “bordereau de détaxe”, so advise the cashier before they ring up your purchases that you’ll want one) at the counter at the airport before departing, and often show the merchandise at that time. You can check the customs information for Charles De Gaulle Airport.

Also the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores will give tourists a storewide discount coupon at their front desk, generally good for 10% off, if you present a foreign passport. (Some items are excluded.)

argenterie copper pot

The first thing to mention is that you won’t find many bargains in Paris on cookware. It’s usually not substantially cheaper than it is outside of French. Even French-made items, like Le Creuset and Staub cookware. However the big department stores, often run promotions and you can score a cast-iron casserole or another treasure for a good price. Once again, check prices before you leave home if you’re looking for specific pieces. During sale periods (les soldes), in January and in the summer, markdowns can be substantial, especially if you wait until the final days.

For those in for an adventure, scour the outdoor markets: the Paris website has page that lists all the food markets and brocantes (sidewalk sales) in Paris and usually there are people there selling a wide range of French kitchen objects. The most obscure food markets (marchés alimentaires), most notably the ones in ethnic neighborhoods, have the best prices.

I also recommend checking out the discount stores dotted around Paris, which I mentioned in The Sweet Life in Paris, and consequently, many of you have asked me about specific addresses.

You basically need to just walk around everyday neighborhoods (more are concentrated in the outer arrondissements, especially on the Right Bank), and you’ll come across some. Follow signs outside that say “Affairs” or “Bazaar”, but you’ll know you found one when there are stacks of miscellaneous things stacked up outside. Inside is usually a great selection of cookware and baking equipment, as well as some French bistroware. I don’t have many specific addresses, but check toward the Belleville area, off the République on the Rue du Faubourg du Temple, the area around the Marché D’Aligré, or the lower part of Rue Oberkampf, just off the boulevard Richard Lenoir.

(Tip: If you’re up near Montmarte, there is a particularly good shop with lots of housewares at 4, rue de Clignancourt.)

I’ve divided my list into three parts; the shops near Les Halles, other cookware shops around Paris, and department stores and hypermarkets (large discount stores). Before setting out, remember that shops in Paris may be closed at unexpected times, on holidays, and in August. So always call first or check their websites to confirm opening hours.

Paris Cookware and Specialty Shops

Atelier du Cuivre et de l’Argent
113, avenue Daumesnil (12th)
Tél: 01 43 40 20 20

Ultra-modern cutlery share space in this shop that specializes in copper cookware made in their atelier, outside of Paris. Located just under the viaduct, by the Gare de Lyon, they also re-tin copper as well.

Au Petit Bonheur la Chance
13, rue Saint-Paul (4th)
Tél: 01 42 74 36 38‎

Filled with old French charm, this shop was recently squeezed into tinier quarters. Lots of linens, café au lait bowls, and kitchen knick-knacks. Nearby is Virtuoses de la Réclame (5, rue Saint-Paul) for old café pitchers and memorabilia, and in the Village Saint-Paul (25, rue Saint-Paul, in the courtyard), Folle du Logis is worth a stop for rifling though their stacks of French plates, serving pieces, glassware, and other curiosities.

Bachelier Antiquités
Marché Paul Bert
18, rue Paul Bert (St Ouen)
Tél: 01 40 11 89 98

In the Clignancourt flea market, Bachelier sells vintage copper, linens, and cooking utensils. Open only on limited days, so be sure to call or check the website before venturing up there.

Bouquiniste Gastronomie

On the quai Conti, this bookstall has an amazing collection of used and rare cookbooks. Not inexpensive, but quite impressive. I’ve been told you can bargain him down.

Cuisinophile
28, rue due Bourg Tibourg (4th)
Tél: 01 40 29 07 32

This tiny slip of a shop is tucked next to the Mariage Frères tea salon and boutique. Not a big selection, but worth a look if you’re in the Marais.

Culinarion

A French chain of upscale cookware shops, with various addresses across Paris.

Eurotra
119, boulevard Richard Lenoir (11th)
Tél: 01 43 38 48 48

Large selection of cookware, and items geared toward professionals. A local favorite, Chinese and Asian items are a specialty, although you’ll find French goods, most notably for restaurants, here as well.

Kitchen Bazaar

With shops scattered about Paris, Kitchen Bazaar has the latest in ultra-trendy bakeware and appliances, plus cooking tools that are hard to find in, or out, of France. Certain times throughout the year the store has 30% off sales which makes shopping particularly fruitful.

La Carpe
14, rue Tronchet (8th)
Tél: 01 47 42 73 25

Just off the swank Place de la Madeleine, La Carpe is packed with cookware of all types. Good selection and you’ll likely find things not available elsewhere.

La Vaissellerie

One of my favorite places to shop in Paris, and the cheapest, these shops scattered across the city are packed with inexpensive porcelain baking dishes, glassware, café au lait bowls, shopping bags, and French novelties, like glasses for verrines.

Le Marché aux Puces de Vanves

Less-famous than the other Clignancourt market, the Porte de Vanves flea market in the 14th is less-expensive and more of a real flea market than a collection of antique stores. The market is both Saturday and Sunday morning.

Marché d’Aligré

Primarily a food market nowadays, the origins of this terrific market was a place where used items where sold and traded. Today, in the center of the marketplace is a daily flea market. Quite lively on weekends, the market is open daily, except Monday. Bargain hard here.

Marché Saint Pierre
2, rue Charles Nodier (18th)
Tél: 01 46 06 92 25

This giant fabric store sits under Sacré Coeur, and not only can you find cotton tablecloths, bistro napkins and lovely torchons (kitchen towels), but they sell étamine, French muslin cloth, which is a good replacement for cheesecloth. It’s sold by the meter and is very inexpensive.

Pylones

Pylones creates fun, yet functional, housewares, like cheesegraters in the shape of the Eiffel Tower and knives with colorful handles. Not really for serious cooks, but great for poking around and finding gifts. Stores across Paris.

Restomat
147, rue de Bagnolet (20th)
Tel: 01 40 30 00 70

Perhaps too professional for most people, but they do carry equipment for hotel and restaurants and is interesting to poke around in if you’re in the neighborhood.

Saint Kioko
46, rue des Petits Champs (2nd)
Tel: 01 42 61 33 65

This shop specializes in Japanese foods, but up on the first floor are tools for preparing Asian foods. The nearby Ace Mart (63, rue Saint-Anne) also has some Asian cookware and in the quartier Chinois you’ll find Tang Frères and other large Asian markets.

Toquades
70, boulevard Malsherbes (8th)
Tél: 01 45 61 03 13

Interesting and unusual cookware, a bit off the beaten path.

Zwilling JA Henkels
12, boulevard de la Madeleine (9th)
Tel: 01 42 68 88 00

This boutique of the famed German cutlery company not only carries a complete selection of their knives, but also cookware, manicure implements, and modern housewares.

Cookware and Specialty Shops in Les Halles

All of these shops are clustered around the same area, accessible from the Les Halles métro. Many are professionally oriented but cater to all. Generally speaking, to get service, you’ll need to take your own initiative.

In these shops, when you buy something, a clerk writes your purchases up on a receipt, which you take to the cashier and pay for, then return to pick up your purchases. Some stores will ship, although the cost may be rather high.

A. Simon
48 + 52 rue Montmartre (1st)
Tél: 01 42 33 71 65

An especially good selection of glassware and heavy-duty, professional quality white French porcelain. The shop is under new ownership and the stock is ever-changing.

E Dehillerin
18-20 rue Coquillière (1st)
Tél: 01 42 36 53 13

Brace yourself and step inside. Two stories of cramped aisles packed with cookware and specialty gear. Famous for their gorgeous copper, in the basement, the staff can be overtly eager to help you to buy something, or disinterested. The staff is well-informed, but don’t let them talk you into something expensive just because they recommend it. The plastic pastry scrapers with their logo on them make inexpensive, and excellent, gifts for baker and cooks back home.

G. Detou
58, rue Tiquetonne (2nd)
Tél: 01 42 36 54 67

One of my favorite shops in Paris for specialty foods, including chocolate, mustard, honey, and olive oils. During December, prepare for a crush of Parisians stocking up on holiday goods.

La Bovida
36 rue Montmartre (1st)
Tél: 01 42 36 09 99

Lots of cookware, but my favorite part of the store is the top story, which has food wrappers and other French cad bakery-style emballages.

La Verrierie
15, rue du Louvre (1st)
Tél: 01 42 36 80 60

Hidden in a courtyard, push open the gate and visit this dark shop. Mostly glassware and earthenware, you’re expected to go in the back and comb the aisles for yourself.

Librarie Gourmande
92-96, rue Montmarte (2nd)
Tél: 01 43 54 37 27

This two-story bookstore has an extensive collection of cookbooks. There are some used books amongst the stacks, but on the upper floor is an impressive collection of oversized books by European chefs which are hard-to-get outside of Europe.

MORA
13, rue de Montmarte (1st)
Tél: 01 45 08 19 24

Pastry chefs come from all over the world to visit MORA, which has a great selection of tart and cake molds, whisks and spatulas, and just about everything else. Plus the best selection of chocolate molds in Paris.

copper ports verrerie des halles

Department Stores and Hypermarkets

The department stores of Paris have excellent cookware departments, which carry professional-quality cookware as well as items for everyday use. Hypermarkets, large discount food stores which have extensive cookware departments, are prohibited from operating within the city limits. But I’ve given the addresses of Auchan and Carrefour, that are just at the edges of Paris, easily reached by métro.

Auchan

This hypermarket chain has two stores, one at La Defense and the other at Porte de Bagnolet (M: Porte de Bagnolet), in large shopping centers. Several aisles are filled with cookware and bakeware.

BHV
55, rue de la Verrerie (4th)
Tél : 01 42 74 90 00

The third floor of this department store in the Marais, has an excellent cookware department. Hardware fans should stop in the basement and those looking to expand their cookbook collections should visit the book department.

Carrefour

France’s mega-chain stores sell food as well as cookware and other kitchen tools. They’ve recently opened smaller grocery stores in Paris, but a close hypermarket is at Porte de Montreuil (M: Porte de Montreuil).

Galeries Lafayette

Large department store, with several locations in Paris boasting extensive cookware departments. Be sure to check out the gourmet food hall at the Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann.

Le Bon Marché
38, rue de Sèvres (7th)
Tél: 01 44 39 80 00

The only department store on the Left Bank of Paris. The name of the store means “good deal” in French. Known for their amazing La Grand Épicerie food hall next door, the main store stocks cookware.

Metro

This membership-only store has huge aisles filled with foods, including French cheeses, specialty butters (for pastry-making), and bakery-size boxes of chocolate and sugars. Half of the store is devoted to professional cookware. (Use their store finder to locate the nearest address.) You’ll need to find a friend with a card to go. And to get a card, one needs to prove they have a business. Best visited by car.

Printemps

The main store, 64 boulevard Haussmann, has a nearby ‘Maison’ store filled with cookware and housewares.

e.dehillerin

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